Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from USA
OCEAN CITY — With the clock ticking on a Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) decision on one of two offshore wind project proposals off the coast of Ocean City, or perhaps both, resort officials this week decided to fire off another letter expressing their desire to have the turbines far enough beyond the horizon to have zero visual impact on the town.
Maine Aqua Ventus representatives testified that the bill would have the practical effect of ending Maine’s bid to build the country’s first commercial-size, floating wind turbines and jump-start an industry ...But representatives of the Maine Lobstering Union, which represents 500 fishermen, said wind power has no place on the Maine coast. If the industry takes off, undersea cables and moorings associated with offshore wind farms would destroy valuable lobster habitat and imperil fishing.
Councilman Tony DeLuca, who first asked the council send a letter of opposition to the U.S. Wind’s proposal, still had reservations about this project’s visual impact. “I’ve talked to three engineers and all of them told me that with the curvature of the earth and the horizon, they would have to be at least 26 miles offshore to be not visible at all,” DeLuca said.
"They're just greedy," said Fleenor, 64, who, with his wife, Diane, built their dream home seven years ago in Ida County and planned to retire there. "I'd move if I could," said Fleenor, who struggles to sleep because a large bank of windows designed to give him a bucolic view of a pond he built is filled instead each night with synchronized blinking red lights mounted on top of the turbines.
Maine’s floating wind power advocates are sounding the alarm over legislation that would push a two-turbine test site farther away from Monhegan Island, saying that the shift would sink the decade-long push to draw power from the untapped Gulf of Maine winds.
According to the transcript published in the Legislative Gazette, in his Jan. 10 State of the State address at Farmingdale State College, Mr. Cuomo stated the following: “I’m calling on LIPA [Long Island Power Authority] to approve a 90 megawatt wind farm. It’s enough to support 50,000 homes. They will not be visible from the beach. They will be 30 miles southeast of Montauk. Not even Superman standing on Montauk Point could see these wind farms.”
US Wind reached out to the town offering to move the wind farm another five miles out, if need be. While council member and secretary Mary Knight expressed optimism in US Wind's willingness to compromise, her concerns still remained that the projects could have a negative impact on Ocean City.
A spokesman for a group of island residents behind the bill said the university is responsible for the crisis by changing the scope of the project. What started in 2009 as a scaled-down, temporary experiment has grown to a 20-year, full-scale project with blades that would reach 576 feet above the waterline and an undersea cable to the mainland, at Port Clyde. A project that size, said Travis Dow of Protect Monhegan, can’t help but impact the view for tourists and artists, who drive the island’s summer economy, and the experience for birders, who flock in spring and fall for annual migrations.
The best advice: “Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am— a reluctant enthusiast … a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this much: You will outlive the bastards.”
Massachusetts on Friday issued a massive request for clean power proposals that could help the state meet its goal of reducing its electrical system’s impact on global warming. By 2020, the state aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation to 25 percent below 1990 levels. The long-expected solicitation has wind opponents in Maine again gearing up for a fight, as Maine is host to the vast majority of pending land-based wind power projects in New England.
After getting a glimpse of “dramatic” renderings of the potential offshore wind energy farm last month, resort officials this week unanimously agreed to send a letter voicing opposition to the close proximity of the project to the shore.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says he may have underestimated how big a "thumbnail" would be when it comes to gauging the visual impact of a proposed wind project off the coast. "They always talked about thumbnails," Meehan said. "Well, they're a little bigger than a thumbnail."
A total of 39 Unorganized Territory communities from western Maine to Down East have taken back the ability to nix wind power projects they don’t like. ...Backlash against the loss of zoning review by the Land Use Planning Commission prompted a 2015 law allowing communities to restore that regional authority over wind projects.
“We’re starting to have more opposition at wind farm hearings,” said Christmann, explaining that major issues in public hearings tend to be the sound turbines produce, the visual aspect and setbacks. From a regulatory standpoint, he said it comes down to a delicate balancing act in terms of expanding the state’s energy production and ensuring there’s enough capacity on the grid for electricity.
Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon told a legislative committee on Wednesday that disputes about wind energy development in the Sandhills are "tearing communities apart," dividing neighbors and families and even spawning death threats. ...The bill was endorsed by representatives of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy and sparked testimony from a parade of supporters who journeyed to Lincoln from the Sandhills for the morning hearing.
Rural residents are objecting to wind projects to protect their property values and viewsheds. They don’t want to live next door to industrial-scale wind farms. They don’t want to see the red-blinking lights atop the turbines, all night, every night for the rest of their lives. Nor do they want to be subjected to the audible and inaudible noise the turbines produce.
There is no danger of an area aquifer being polluted by a proposed wind energy project in Fayette, Henry and Rush counties.
“All of the representatives of the Federal and State agencies we have talked to so far have indicated to us they feel that the greatest risk to this aquifer is contamination by diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid, other onsite chemicals or lubricants,” he added. “Also, surface water runoff into open pit construction sites is a major concern and a possible source of contamination ... we were shocked to learn that no studies or special permits were needed to construct wind turbines on top of this aquifer.”
Legislation proposed by Maine Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, to prohibit The New England Aqua Ventus 1 project from building two 6-megawatt wind turbines two-and-a-half miles off Monhegan Island could kill the University of Maine-led effort. For now, it is now one of only two projects still in the running for Department of Energy funding.
The Department of the Interior temporarily shut down construction of the Tule Wind Energy project in McCain Valley on January 20th due to six confirmed violations of the right-of-way grant conditions, including “three incidents of ground disturbing work without a cultural monitor present and three incidents of clearing beyond the disturbance limits at four different locations,” according to the notice of temporary suspension issued January 20th.